Eating and exercise go hand in hand. When and what you eat can be important to how you feel when you exercise, whether it’s a casual workout or a serious athletic competition
Knowing when and what to eat can make a difference in how you feel during your workouts. Here are five tips on eating and exercise to guide you.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast
If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to eat breakfast — that may mean one to two hours before your workout. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning, and your blood sugar may be low. If you don’t eat, you may feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a lighter breakfast or drink something to raise your blood sugar, such as a sports drink. Emphasize carbohydrates for maximum energy.
2. Size matters.
Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercise. The general guideline:
- Large meals. Eat these at least three to four hours before exercising.
- Small meals. Eat these two to three hours before exercising.
- Small snacks. Eat these an hour before exercising.
Eating too much before you exercise can leave you feeling sluggish, or worse, with a case of diarrhea or stomach cramps. Eating too little may not give you the energy to keep you feeling strong throughout your workout. 3. Snack well Most people can eat small snacks right before and during exercise. The key is how you feel. Do what works best for you. Snacks eaten soon before exercise probably won’t give you added energy, but they can help keep up your blood sugar and prevent distracting hunger pangs. 4. Eat after you exercise To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within two hours of your exercise session if possible. If you aren’t hungry after your workout, drink juice or a sports drink to provide replenishing carbohydrates5. Drink up Don’t forget to drink fluids to help optimize your exercise and workouts. You need adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration.
Source: By Mayo Clinic staff
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